Reading between the lines

If a single addiction has survived my multiple years of navel gazing, self absorption and sheer intensity, it would be books. I suspect that if I added up all my expenditures over the years, books would be at or near the top.  And it isn't even that I've read them all. For many years just owning the book was enough. By way of confession, at times I've also fallen into pushing books on others with evangelical fervor.

The pattern would unwind by falling in love with a writer or an idea and then insisting to anyone who'd listen that THE answer exists within the pages. The list of these books would be tedious to recreate and I'm no longer convinced a) that anyone still reads and b) that they are seeing what I see within the pages.

The second point was brought home to me by a beloved friend, who having entertained my insistences over the years, eventually asked me to show her where in the book it said any of the things that I promised were written there. I assured her that I'd mostly read between the lines and that in fact the author probably didn't actually say that she possessed the answer to everything, but that's what I inferred.

And long before the book was written about outliers, my friend gently offered the reflection that I might inhabit a territory at the end of the bell curve bereft of common sense and social sensibility.

I recall the excitement when my mind assured me that this was the declared province of genius. Then I remembered that the other end of the bell curve houses insanity. This led to the realization that, hey, I only know that this end is really small. Isn't it equally possible that I'm at the crazy end? Now instead of being special, I had even odds of being nuts. Suddenly, I wasn't so excited anymore.

At any rate, non-fiction has been a life long obsession and in particular anything having to do with the aforementioned topic of "why are monkeys so fill-in-the-blank". The intensity of this desire to know, to possess once and for all, THE answer, has been the driving force behind my life long accumulation of the written word.

Reflecting on the libraries I've built and eventually discarded over the years, only a few authors remain constant.  All of them, both living and dead, assured me that pointing at the moon is not the same as the moon. Zen koans

As with any quest to know "once and for all" anything regarding consciousness, the path is circular and quickly morphs into a three dimensional spiral. This is when all of you who adore fiction get excited because you've known all along that there are no answers, only stories that illuminate the domains and geography of experience.

I remain stubbornly fixated on my quest. That's how I come to recommend "Power vs. Force", by David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD.

And because I've disclosed my standard deviations and resulting instability on the slimmer end of the bell curve, accepting both the up and down sides of "norm", any conclusions regarding the value of this book are questionable.

Of course this doesn't stop me from assuring you that, really, if there is an answer, this is the closest thing I've read.

 Reading between the lines

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